Aarti V RamanIs it a romantic fiction or a crime thriller – is a question that I kept asking as I read the 300 odd pages of the book. There is a wild kind of romance between the two protagonists – both of who are strong people, but the love happens only in the end. The two are running after a faceless criminal and the situations and circumstances bring them together. Author has tried to set her romance in the midst of a crime / mystery thriller. Set in various continents it covers places like Kashmir, Ladakh, Tibet, London, Scotland, Mexico….though I wonder if this landscape was really needed for the plot or it was author’s familiarity with this place that brought them into the scene.

I liked the story – the unfolding of it was also nice. The constant dose of romance makes the narrative juicy when it begins to get dry. The constant tension between the protagonists has been well presented. The building up of their restrained yet passionate relationship is well done. Having said that I lost the plot in the end. I do not want to give away the punch of the story but there were many things throughout the story that contradicted that punch. I could not even get the logic in the end of why the whole thing was staged in the first place.  I have a feeling it got lost somewhere in editing. I did not get the motivation of anyone to engage in all those dangerous acts all over the world. Even in crucial scenes, there were gaps – like you know never why people use a car that was to explode, that was not theirs and who were rich enough to have enough of their own cars.

I had a problem with the narrative of the scenes. All the intimate scenes were too confused, you could never figure out where the hand and head went and how. Dialogues were confusing – at times I had to go back to see which of the 2or 3 characters were speaking and sometimes it made sense and sometimes it did not. There were lengthy descriptions of the foods like Kahwa, Gulab Jamun and Biryani, which broke the flow of the story, at least for those of us, who know what they are. Similarly the descriptions and of the places and technologies went too long. I think some good editing could have pruned a lot of it and brought a steady flow and brevity to the book.

Overall I did enjoy the book, but would have been happier if I could get the end well.

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